TAMPA -- One by one they took to the stage to receive their plaques, each story seemingly more compelling than the last. The single mother with four kids. The young man who had lived in a friend's car for a spell. The cancer survivor whose parents had died when he was four years old.
The most logical reason to focus on "time to degree" for doctoral students is that most of them say they want to finish -- and most graduate departments say the same thing. People are happier and programs are more efficient.
Provost Tom Sullivan has decided to dissolve the University of Minnesota's graduate school, placing more power in the hands of individual deans and his own office. Justified in part by budget shortfalls, the decision forecasts the kind of bold and arguably risky tactics college leaders may employ under increased demands to streamline -- and it quickly began to stir controversy at the university.